Kaitlyn and Matthew's
1. YOU DO YOUR THING GIRL.
I spent a year planning our wedding and at the start it was a completely different vision. Halfway through, I realized that I was planning a traditional wedding that would be just like every other wedding I was at, even though it didn't reflect what I had dreamt about my whole life. I am a free spirit and have my own unique tastes- I realized MY wedding wouldn't be traditional. Some of the things I changed were: *I went from having all matching traditional bridesmaids dresses to having all different mis-matched patterened, non-traditional dresses * I changed the flowers from just some uniform smaller bouquets to bright, fun, crazy wildflowers spilling out from every which way. *I changed the wedding music from traditional aisle instrumental songs to songs that I enjoyed listening to (our wedding party walked down to "Just Breathe" by pearl jam and I walked down to "fix you" by boyce avenue) *All the wedding décor went from plain, simple to a wide array of stained glass, wildflowers, and colorful vintage items. The point that I want to make here is that those changes turned into the best parts of the wedding. People were loving the eclectic mix of bridesmaids dresses, swooning over the flowers, and a few people said "was that pearl jam that I heard playing? That was awesome!". Don't hold back on making it YOUR day that YOU dreamed of- no matter what you think would be "traditional". Don't worry about what others will think.
2. Hire a Decorator.
This is some of the best advice that I can give to a bride. We had a decorator to set up and take down the entire wedding that day. Instead of having the stress of setting up, I got to spend the day before and day of just relaxing and knowing that the wedding was in the hands of professionals. Also, our decorator is also a vintage rental shop (The White House Co, Fargo ND) so we got to rent most of our décor instead of having to purchase it which was a lifesaver because at the end we weren't stuck with 75 vases to store/sell. Plus, it was much cheaper than buying (try $5 to rent a cake plate instead of $30+ to buy it- score!). I also had no time to do DIY- and I'm not the best at those things anyways- so renting was such a nice alternative.
3. Spend money on the things that make the experience better.
Something we did that I loved was sat and talked about what we thought would be sweet at a wedding. Not what we know people do, but what we wish weddings had. Because of this, we put most of our money towards those things- we love listening to live music together so we had a live band duo play during the social hour and dinner and then hired a second larger band to play the dance instead of the DJ. If you do some research on local music and talk to bands, you'll find that it actually isn't that expensive to hire a band over a DJ and to us, it made the experience that much better. I also wanted to mention do not forget about the kids. We had a kids table which featured butcher paper over the table and color crayons so that the kids could color all over the table, colorful pinwheels, racecars for the boys, and beaded necklaces & sparkly paper princess crowns for the girls (how cute is it when a little girl in a crown says "look, I'm a princess too just like you"). During the ceremony, we provided a huge bucket of fruit snacks for the kids ( and lets be honest, for the adults too). It's those small touches that really show you put thought into things. Spend money on those things- save on other things like programs and decorations.
4. Accept the help.
Planning a wedding is stressful to say the least. There are a million things to think about and when you think you've caught up and done it all- the list grows again. I'm always one to not want to "burden" other people with jobs to help ease the process even when they ask I say "no, I've got it" as I'm drowning in a to-do list. ACCEPT the help from the people who are willing to help. As for the day of, is going to be crazy. And you are going to be feeling very numb, nervous, and a bundle of about 50 other emotions all at once. Your mom, personal attendants, vendors, friends, they're all there for a reason. Let them take care of everything. My little brother came out to the country club the morning of the wedding to bring me coffee and bagels while I got ready and it was a life saver! You just drink that coffee girl and relax with your bridesmaids- let others help you with anything else!
5. This one will be short and sweet.
Splurge on a good photographer and a good videographer; those memories last a lifetime. Save money on flowers. Our florist was AMAZING and did all bouquets and bouts- she was SO willing to work with me when it came to the cost because the look you are going for can be achieved in so many ways. When it came to the reception (centerpieces, etc.) we went with a mix of wildflowers purchased from Costco online- it was $100 and we had a bathtub full of flowers to decorate the wedding with.
6. Lastly, when it comes to the wedding party...
Pick those that are going to make your day wonderful. I honestly cannot say I had any issues with the bridal party throughout the process or the wedding- they were a group of the most kind, fun, helpful women who kept my head on straight when I didn't know what I was doing. As for your fiancé, don't blame him for not planning. My husband doesn't care about vases, invitations, or flowers. It was always "whatever you want" which always made me so mad! I would say "but it's your wedding too, don't you have an opinion, aren't you excited about this?!" Until I realized that he just truly has no opinions on things like that because that's not his thing. He was ecstatic to be marrying me and wanted the wedding to be the one that I had dreamed of my whole life and had plastered all over my Pinterest page.